1. Russian Visa Application.
The application for a Russian Visa is filled out electronically
Click Online Russian Visa Application
when ready to apply.
In the beginning you will be assigned an online ID and asked to create a password. Please write them down, as you will need them should you have to log in to your application later. You will also need to provide us with both ID and password.
The application may take about 20-30 minutes to complete depending on the amount of information you put in. Please save it at the bottom of every page to avoid losing data if you leave the form for extended period of time.
Please answer all questions carefully and truthfully.
Once the form is complete, please print out the PDF version of it that will be generated at the end of the process and enclose it with the rest of the paperwork.
2. A private/guest letter of invitation.
An invitation has to be sponsored by a Russian citizen with a valid Russian "internal" passport who is registered at a private residence in Russia, which is supported by a stamp (called "propiska") in the internal passport. It can be secured through the Ministry of Internal Affairs of the Russian Federation which sends it electronically to the Russian consulate where the visa is being issued. Electronic invitations are usually issued in support of single-entry private visas valid for up to 90 days.
Private visas with 3-year validity are issued based on invitations obtained through a notary service in Russia, and government office is not involved in the process of issuing such documents. Good-quality scans of such invitations are generally acceptable and must be accompanied by copies of the inviting person's internal Russian passport pages - the foldout with biographical data and the foldout with residential address registration stamp.
If the inviting person resides legally in the US, a simplified version of the invitation can be used, as long as the inviting person has two unexpired Russian passports (internal and international), is registered at a private residence in Russia (has a stamp in the internal passport as proof of such registration) and has a permanent resident status in the US or is a US citizen. A letter is typed on a computer, and the inviting person's signature is notarized under the letter by any US notary. The original notarized letter is then sent to our office accompanied by photocopies of both Russian passports - the foldouts with biographical data and the foldout with residential address registration stamp in the internal passport - and photocopies of both sides of the green card or US passport (bio pages). Please contact us for a template of such letter and/or assistance with composing the letter (available at $30 per document).
3. Your original passport
The passport should be signed. A parent can sign for a minor.
The passport should be valid for at least 6 months after expiration date of the visa you are applying for.
The passport should have at least two blank (without any markings) visa-designated pages side-by-side. Visa-designated pages usually have the word "Visas" at the top. Amendment pages at the back of the passport are not usable for visas.If your passport is nearing expiration, does not allow for the desired length of visa validity or does not have enough blank visa pages, we can assist with its renewal.
4. Two passport-size photos
The photos should be in color, on a plain white background, of sharp resolution, printed on a photo paper, glossy, 2" x 2" and taken within the past 6 months. Wearing glasses is not recommended, and your face should be recognizable when compared to the photo in your passport.
5. For applicants born in Russia or former USSR
republics: please provide a copy of a document that serves as proof of absence of Russian citizenship. Such document may be different for each applicant, depending on where they immigrated from, when and under what circumstances; here are some documents accepted by consulates:
a copy of a Soviet passport that belonged to the applicant or their parent (if immigrated as a minor) with a stamp stating that the person immigrated "for permanent residency" prior to 1992;
a copy of an exit immigrant visa (a.k.a. "Israel visa");
a copy of Certificate of Naturalization issued prior to 1996;
a document issued by a Russian consulate or embassy confirming renunciation of Russian citizenship;
a copy of the passport issued in a former USSR republic (other than Russia) after 1992.
If you are not sure what documents you should provide, please contact our office. Please keep in mind that becoming a US citizen and/or allowing Russian passports to expire does not lead to automatic annulment of Russian citizenship.
Those who never lost or renounced their Russian citizenship are expected to have valid Russian travel passports to be used to travel to Russia without visas and are not eligible to obtain Russian visas, with exceptions made only under compelling urgent circumstances.
6. For minor applicants:
please provide a copy of the minor's birth certificate and both parents' passports or valid IDs.
If both parents were born in Russia or the former USSR, please provide a copy of a document confirming absence of Russian citizenship for at least one parent.
Children born to two Russian citizens are not eligible to apply for Russian visas and are advised to obtain Russian citizenship and Russian passports. This rule does not apply once they reach the age of 18 (unless they obtained Russian citizenship as minors or were born in Russia).
7. For non-US citizens
: please provide proof of legal status in the US (a copy of both sides of green card, valid long-term non-visitor US visa, etc.) and proof of medical insurance valid in Russia during the dates of visa validity.If you are a dual citizen (or have other citizenship(s) besides the US), you have to use your US passport when applying in the US
8. If you have a valid Russian visa in the same passport, you can renew it as early as 30 days prior to that visa's expiration, unless you apply for a different visa type or renew your passport. If you have a valid visa in another (second valid) passport, please submit that passport as well, so that visa could be invalidated. One is not allowed to have more than one valid Russian visa.
If you have a valid visa in a passport that was cancelled (in the process of renewal), please provide photocopies of that passport's bio pages and the visa that is in it.